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Creative Research Lab

SHIFT (MFA1) - March 2008

Amelia Winger-Bearskin

Amelia Winger-Bearskin
The State of Things (video still), 2007
9 min.

I work primarily in the area of time-based art (sound, video, live performance and digital media). There is an immediacy inherent in live performance and time-based works that I find connects the work with the viewer in a unique way. In my work I reference live music, film, dance and theater, using common technologies and formats.

Initially, my works may seem familiar. However, the works do not resolve in a familiar manner. Through the duration of the work, the role of the viewer moves from being passively entertained to witnessing to a foreign event. It is important to me when I create a work to consider the viewer as an active witness, one whose own imagination is limitless and capable of moving beyond the mere suggestions of the piece.

I was trained in the area of classical opera, dance, theater and musical composition. The learning and performance of these methodologies informed my work greatly. However, it is important for me to expose and deconstruct these methods, rather than use them to create works similar to mainstream performing arts. The exposure of these methods creates a metaphor and directs the work's subject matter. With the artifice of the performance exposed the work is freed from its heavy-handed entertainment based delivery.

Rather than having the performer replicate the audience's past experiences, the work seeks to engage the audience in the present moment, connecting them to their own creative discovery.